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Maxtor plans 137GB+ hard drives

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Maxtor today set out its stall in the heavy duty hard drive market, saying it planned to surpass the 137GB interface for ATA drives by the end of the year.

The vendor has joined forces with other IT companies, such as Compaq, Microsoft, VIA Technologies, ONTRACK Data International and StorageSoft, to support the latest standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) T13 technical committee.

The standard allows the future development of capacities of up to 144 petabytes (PB) of storage, or drives that can access around 100,000 times more data than the current 137GB interface standard.

Of course, the 137GB barrier, predicted to hit by the end of 2001, will not affect the average PC user. According to IDC, the average size of a PC hard drive is currently around 20GB, with this figure expected to rise to 100GB by 2005.

But the larger drives are generally six times bigger, and IDC predicts that one of the hard drive manufacturers will break the 137GB barrier this year. It also expects the latest standard to last well into the future.

"On average, we hit a capacity barrier every six years," said IDC senior research analyst Dave Reinsel. "At the current rate of storage, reaching 144PB will take care of the industry's capacity issues for the next 20 years."

Reinsel said the 137GB barrier had caught much of the industry by surprise as it will only affect the top end of the market. He expects around 160GB of storage to be on the market by the end of this year, made up of four 40GB platters, and around 240GB, or three 80GB platters, by the end of 2002.

Maxtor also used today's press conference at TechXNY to announce that its Personal Storage 3000DV external drives had started shipping in volume. The device, with 7200 RPM speed, is aimed at handling video editing and graphics-packed games, and can add 60GB of storage to a machine.

Each 3000DV costs $379.95 and, according to Maxtor, can store up to 15,000 four-minute MP3 songs, 6,000 digital photos, 60 hours of compressed digital video or 1,500 video games (400MB each). ®

Related Link

T13 link

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